Americans grew less optimistic about the outlook for jobs and incomes in February.
A business group, the Conference Board, reported Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence dropped nine points.
The index is based on interviews with thousands of U.S. households about their expectations for jobs, purchases and other economic actions.
The number of consumers telling researchers that jobs are hard to find grew in February over prior months.
They also reported less confidence about the economic outlook over the next six months.
Experts track consumer sentiment because consumer demand drives most economic activity in the U.S. market, which is the world's largest.